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Libertarian in High Office – Jeff Hewitt Pulls Away – He Can’t Lose

A Winning Race by Radical Libertarians in California is Now all but Decided. This may be the most significant WIN by the LP since it stole an Electoral College vote.

Zooming By

Libertarian Jeff Hewitt has pulled away further into the lead in his race for county supervisor in Riverside, California. “The world upside down,” is the only way to describe it. The Libertarian took a losing race against an establishment Republican and actually flipped the score, sending both major parties into a scramble. As of November 30th, Hewitt is over 2500 votes ahead out of over 100,000, putting him at 51.3%. Depending on how many of the remaining county-wide provisional votes count towards his race, it may now be impossible for him to lose.

Votes for Jeff Hewitt in the Riverside County 5th District Supervisor election in 2018 changed over time. Absentee ballots were counted in the same order voters sent them in over the nearly 2 months California allows. The trend in voters shows distinct and massive changes in voter propensity towards Jeff Hewitt.

Votes for Jeff Hewitt in the Riverside County 5th District Supervisor election in 2018 changed over time. Absentee ballots were counted in the same order they were sent in. The trend shows distinct and massive changes in voter propensity towards Jeff Hewitt.

The race he is in is for one of the most prized political positions in the country and easily among the top 20 most influential positions in all of California. The result will likely mean that for the first time in history, the Libertarian Party will have a solid member supervising a significant county seat. Riverside County is the 11th MOST populous county in the US and has a geographic area the size of New Jersey. The five person board decides administrative and enforcement policy for all law in their county and it controls an annual budget of over $5,000,000,000.

What few votes remain to be counted in this race are a tiny portion of the Vote-By-Mail ballots that needed extra verification and then also about 30,000 provisional votes cast on election day.  The remaining votes will not all be applied to this race. Because the counting has now prioritized precincts within this particular race, it is believed that there are only 2500 to 7000 votes left. The final results will not be certified until Dec. 6th, but only an impossibly improbable showing could make him lose at this point.

The Hewitt campaign didn't pull any radical punches. On tax day, people got a humorous and hard to ignore post card in their mail box.

The Hewitt campaign didn’t pull any radical punches. On tax day, people got a humorous and hard to ignore post card in their mail box.

County elected officials are reportedly calling Jeff Hewitt to congratulate him on winning. It is said that many have specifically complimented his campaign for a spectacular job moving voters. There is also apparently some level of having to admit surprise. Not a lot of the establishment politicos in the area had bet on the dark horse. To ensure that he can ramp up his office in time, the county has even issued Jeff Hewitt an exclusive access pin identifying him as Supervisorial Staff in administrative offices in the county seat.

A Full Tilt Assault by Libertarians

This was no “gimme” of a win for Libertarians. Jeff Hewitt’s campaign was a full tilt assault on traditional party politics. According to the campaign manager, Boomer Shannon, the approach was to do, “good ole’ fashioned politicking.” He says that the establishment parties have become so entrenched that they no longer know how to solicit votes; they only remain in power on the momentum of their “now broken machines.”

Another radical and hard hitting mailer questioned the voting record Hewitt's opponent had as a GoP hatchetman: Authoring bills that targeted immigrants and frustrated LGBT equal protection under the law.

Another radical and hard hitting mailer questioned the voting record Hewitt’s opponent had as a GoP hatchetman: Authoring bills that targeted immigrants and frustrated LGBT equal protection under the law.

The day following the election, Mr. Shannon reported to activists and observers at the campaign office the results of the night’s counting and predicted a win by 2000 votes. Though at the time they were still down several hundred votes, he pointed at the 56% performance at the polls and said this statistically represented, “the world turned upside down,” from the 44% of the early absentee returns. He felt that the Democrats and Republicans did not know what was coming and said that as votes come in, “there will be great wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Afterwards, I got a minute to ask Mr. Shannon what he meant by people not knowing what is coming, and what that meant to other libertarians.

This mailer warned that the other candidate, a true crony, was being sued by his own city for failing to build schools to code. This sir... we Libertarians call this a petard... up you go!

This mailer warned that the other candidate, a true crony, was being sued by his own city for failing to build schools to code. This sir… we Libertarians call this a petard… up you go!

“They have gotten worse than lazy,” Mr. Shannon said about the major parties. “They are indolent in representing the people that vote for them. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are attracting new voters because the generations following the Baby Boomers have completely lost faith in them.”

Hewitt's opponent called himself a Regan Republican and then took over $650,000 from public employee unions. He did not have a cartoonist on staff, but Jeff Hewitt did and this Republican targeted mailer generated a LOT of phone calls... not only to the Hewitt's campaign, but reportedly some angry ones made it to GoP leadership as well.

Hewitt’s opponent called himself a Regan Republican and then took over $650,000 from public employee unions. He did not have a cartoonist on staff, but Jeff Hewitt did and this Republican targeted mailer generated a LOT of phone calls… not only to the Hewitt’s campaign, but reportedly some angry ones made it to GoP leadership as well.

“Over the last 15 years that we have been doing street level activism in Southern California we have seen a significant shift in the way people approach society. It is testimony to the decades of education work the party has done. When we canvass people with an OPH (Operation Politically Homeless) kit, the results today are striking. In parts of Los Angeles that trend towards Democrats, there is a swing. The little red dots we put on the graph have shifted up on the Republican side towards Libertarians. Conversely in more Republican areas like where Jeff is running, we see the registered Democrats shifting up into the Libertarian quadrant.”

Libertarians using OPH kits are seeing surprising yet telling shift in public attitudes towards self-ownership.

Libertarians using OPH kits are seeing a surprising yet telling shift in public attitudes towards self-ownership.

Operation Politically Homeless is a long running education tool invented by the much revered and missed David Nolan. Once known as the Nolan Chart, the device is a small ten question test that inquires on a respondent’s view on some hard hitting freedom issues. Five of the questions are on “personal freedoms”; the rest are about economics. The chart is purported to correctly identify which political alignment a person has. The alignment is based not only on the familiar Left to Right axis, but also on a up-down scale of Libertarian to statist. An organization called The Advocates for Self Governance makes pre-printed tests of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz and display ready scoring posters available online. These kits are a regular gift among Libertarians to new activists.

“What this shift means to us is that on each side of the pseudo-divide between the two major parties, the side that feels disempowered, sees Libertarian thought as the solution. But that is not the strongest sign we see. What we get really excited about, the thing that seems to be the most significant change in those charts, is the fading away of the red and blue dots.”

“When I first started doing activism using the OPH kit, the respondents were a different sort. Most people who took the test were registered in one of the big parties. The chart would just have a smattering of yellow stickers we used for people registered in a 3rd party or had declined to state a party preference.”

Over six weeks over a dozen workers knocked on over 22,000 doors, talking to voters and soliciting sign placement.

Over six weeks over a dozen workers knocked on over 22,000 doors, talking to voters and soliciting sign placement.

“Gradually, and then significantly, those dots began to change. Each year, and universally across the various neighborhoods we canvass, red dots and blue dots began to be replaced by independent voters. Now nearly half of the respondents to the World’s Smallest Political Quiz we talk to are independents.”

“What is interesting is that the change isn’t just a replacement. We are getting a lot more people to stop and talk to us, take the test, and discuss society. Younger voters, who were once disenfranchised, are taking ownership and an interest in the political process. And let me tell you, they are a cynical lot too!”

“In areas that are Progressive strongholds in Los Angeles for instance, we get a lot of voters that understandably trend on the left side of the chart. The blue dots push far over, but the independents and Republicans score strongly Libertarian. When we talk to these guys, they still tend to be most interested in the issues that their neighbors and old progressives traditionally held up as ensigns like social justice and the environment. What we found though, is that they do not trust government to do these things. Until they talked to us, they just didn’t have any idea that these problems might be solved without ‘pointing guns at people.’ They tend to agree that government is not the right solution for society’s most important problems.”

Politics is about People

Boomer Shannon explains that these observations about the trajectory of political interest in voters was strong in shaping Jeff Hewitt’s campaign. The campaign sought to distance itself from politics as usual by throwing out the bold and blocky style now universally recognizable as political signs.

Warm desert colors and a confident smiling face got voters to look and then pay attention to Jeff Hewitt's campaign.

Warm desert colors and a confident smiling face got voters to look and then pay attention to Jeff Hewitt’s campaign.

“A leader in the GoP here in Riverside called us ‘gutsy’ for putting Jeff’s face on our print media. Like most politicos, he has no clue what marketing looks like. As part of our volunteer army we had Hollywood PR and design people advising us and a staff artist. We knew that what we needed to do was set ourselves apart from politicians in general. We used warm desert colors in our advertising and plastered Jeff’s smiling confident face all over the county. It was friendly. It felt very personal and Jeff was very well received.”

“We have a saying around here that guides our attitudes: ‘Politics is about people; and the number one skill is making friends.’ Jeff and his amazing political track has represented the epitome of this. We would never have had this level of success if Jeff had not first volunteered for the planning office in his hometown, ran for the city council and then been promoted to mayor. His reputation was the foundation the campaign was built on. When we walked into a forum, as outsiders we were always walking into what normally would have been enemy territory. But it didn’t matter if it was a liberal church, a hispanic business coalition or a conservative club of GoP regulars, Jeff had a friend welcoming him and making introductions.”

Activists, a very large majority under 30 years old, flocked to Riverside to help the Hewitt campaign. Not only did they help with the ground game, IT services and media generation were also largely volunteer efforts.

Activists, a very large majority under 30 years old, flocked to Riverside to help the Hewitt campaign. Not only did they help with the ground game, IT services and media generation were also largely volunteer efforts.

“With this ability to make friends, our outreach became a funnel for people to meet Jeff. We had a dozen people canvassing neighborhoods, knocking on doors and making friends. People would see Jeff’s face on the extended literature and say, ‘Oh, I’ve seen him,’ and the rest was easy. Our number one goal was to put Jeff in front of people on a personal level, the second was to get signs on lawns. If they showed some active interest we set them up for coffee with Jeff. Jeff wound up drinking a LOT of coffee. Campaigning was two shifts a day for him – seven days a week.”

“Not only did we get a lot of positive feedback for the personal contact, we littered the district with thousands of signs. You would drive around town, and at busy intersections there was [the opponent’s] sign nailed to a pole where a signage company was hired to put them up. Ours were there too, but when you turned into the side street of a neighborhood, it was all Jeff, Jeff, Jeff. The GoP doesn’t know how to play a ground game. For them it is all about the party approved vendors.”

The Failure of Parties

Boomer claims to have studied the art of political persuasion, “before Tammany Hall,” when violent enforcement of party lines became prevalent. He says he can identify concretely where the Republicans and Democrats are failing. Their model is still based on control they no longer have. He also says he knows how to exploit that weakness and that it is easy to illustrate so that Libertarians do not make the same mistake. It is his theory that the major parties are no longer really political parties.

A very busy office run by millennials moved the vote over 12 points propelling a Libertarian to victory.

A very busy office run by millennials moved the vote over 14 points propelling a Libertarian to victory. They set up IT infrastructure to rival a tech startup, wrote custom software and even produced the campaign’s media all in-house.

“This is hard for some, especially the establishment, to understand. For over a hundred years, politics has been monopolized by teams on a playing field that is completely corrupt. Look,” he said, “a political party, by its organic nature is the opposite of a control structure. Political parties are actually defined by a set of people, having a common social goal, coming together to realize it in the electoral process. You wont find any actual social goals except as window dressing in the establishment parties. The purpose of the their parties is completely manipulated to maintain access to graft. People know it and they hate corruption. What they need to know is that Libertarians are different, that we are sincere. That means being bottom up and decentralized as a movement and as a party so that activists and candidates stick around, and it means being locally relevant and radical in our messaging so that people hear us with definition.”

“As soon as the parties became centralized, they stopped being… Parties. After nearly 100 years, their unyielding grip on government is slipping because they do not know how to talk to the public. In those hundred years, they became Leviathan, and now under the weight of their own narcissism, they are collapsing. The massive swelling of voters who do not choose a party, to me is a plowed field ready for planting. We will use the rotting corpses of the old parties for fertilizer as we sow seeds of Liberty and irrigate it with the tears of broken and destitute bureaucrats.”

“Republicans and Democrats settle your mortal affairs. Jeff is just the beginning. The Libertarians are coming.”

 

Disclosure:
As a So Cal Libertarian, I was naturally very invested in seeing Jeff Hewitt win this election from a number of angles. I helped on the campaign as a volunteer anywhere I could, and more. I was not alone and have a great love and appreciation for the dozens of fellow Libertarians that similarly took massive amounts of their free time and valuable skills and devoted them to this race. I pretend no lack of personal bias in this blog post. I am really proud of what those guys did.

The post Libertarian in High Office – Jeff Hewitt Pulls Away – He Can’t Lose appeared first on Alive Free Happy.

A new spin on the Affirmative Action question

Just about everyone has heard of Affirmative Action by now.  Affirmative action laws and policies require organizations to make proactive efforts to represent individuals from certain protected classes in the workplace at levels comparable to those for unprotected groups. Affirmative action requirements are separate and distinct from nondiscrimination laws, which prohibit discriminatory acts against protected persons, but do not mandate proactive steps in their favor.

Very few can offer the legal or legislative source for Affirmative Action, so I will.

“The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces the Executive Order 11246, as amended; Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and the affirmative action provisions (Section 4212) of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, as amended. Taken together, these laws ban discrimination and require Federal contractors and subcontractors to take affirmative action to ensure that all individuals have an equal opportunity for employment, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or status as a Vietnam era or special disabled veteran.”

In California, our state’s Constitution Article 1, Sec. 31, states: “The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting” This general ban is followed by a set of exceptions. These exceptions center around policies in response to court orders, consent decrees, or compliance with federal laws in order to receive funding.

There are certain assumptions when dealing with the topic of Affirmative Action. The first is generally that certain minority groups are given preference over other groups. The other, which underpins the first, is that these groups are rather fixed / permanent.

Given the rather delicate state of minority group relations currently, why would I write an article about Affirmative Action or the rights/privileges of minority groups? I do it to call BS on the whole idea of identity politics. I do it because the whole concept is aggressive and relies on large interest groups telling others how they may identify and to which group they may belong. Let me illustrate this using my own story.

The picture above is a screen-grab from a NatGeo special in which I had an on-screen part. Take a look at the picture and what do you see? How would you describe me? How would you describe the screen-grab to your friends?

I presented this question a few years ago to a class of students. I stood before them in a coat and tie and asked them to describe me as they saw me. The answers, white, caucasian, tall, athletic … green eyes, clean cut … etc.

The screen-grab is from a German language version of a show in which I provided photogrammetric analysis of an unknown subject in a particular picture taken at a concentration camp during WWII. Now, students begin to gravitate towards the academic descriptions and some ended up with the conclusion of “white privilege,” as evidenced by my getting screen time on the TV show. Which is where I hoped they’d end up. It was a trap, meant to illustrate a specific point.

Under the the old diagnostic manuals (DSM), I had been diagnosed with various syndromes and disorders to describe how my brain and body worked or didn’t work – all as separate issues. Sensory Processing Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, Insomnia, GI problems and food sensitivities, and so on. Under the old DSM, these were all separate problems with separate treatments. Now, with the change from IV to V, the DSM puts these separate issues together (rightly) under the umbrella of autism. Thus, in May of 2013 I went from an adult with a ton of medical issues to an autistic adult. Just like that, I became part of a growing minority group that now make up around 2.25% of the US population. I actually think that number is much larger as many autistic adults haven’t received a diagnosis and thus are not part of the totals.

Getting back to the picture above, where students see the surface and not the constituent parts and history, many are quite shocked to know that this person in the picture is part of a small minority group – and many refuse to offer that description. How can the person in the picture be a minority? How can the person in the picture not benefit from “white privilege?”

Let’s answer that by looking at current events. Start with “police brutality” and the complaints from minorities about how they’re treated by the police during the most benign of encounters. I’m sure I don’t have to link to any of the thousands of stories covered in the last few decades. But did you know that autistic adults and parents of autistic children have similar fears in dealing with the police? Officer.com notes, “[Autistic people] are estimated to have up to seven times more contacts with law enforcement agencies during their lifetimes.  Yet, only 20% of patrol responses related to autistic individuals are related to criminal activity.  Interacting with a child or adult who has an autism spectrum disorder will challenge your experience, training and patience.” Wow. Substitute “autism” with any racial identifier and folks would be out of their minds and protesting on the streets over this article. But they aren’t, are they?

What about employment prospects? “For adults on the autism spectrum, finding and keeping jobs is difficult at best and often simply impossible. We know this anecdotally, but studies are bearing this out with increasing regularity. Adults with ASD are chronically unemployed or underemployed. While these numbers certainly include a small population of adults whose autism or co-morbid condition renders them unable to work, many adults on the spectrum might well be employed more fully with more effective supports.” I know this from personal experience. I am very fortunate to have a job. I met a man a while ago who wanted to take his agency down a path that was well within my special interests and talents. He was willing to offer the supports that I needed to get the job done and to be successful. Sadly, he is no longer around in that role and those supports are under review. We hear politicians talking about minority labor participation and unemployment rates. We don’t hear that the numbers are much worse for autistic people. Why?

So to the central theme, Affirmative Action. According to Kaiser and the government, I am a disabled adult. But, my disability isn’t visible. What is visible is my light skin and light eyes. So I don’t get protections for being part of a minority group – I am visibly “white,” even though I’m “invisibly” disabled. I have had various people in my life who have pushed me to actualize my potential and to leverage my autistic brain’s talents and interests. I have had levels of success. This, plus the “white” skin means I’m privileged and not disabled. Silly, I think.

This issue, the fallacy that is Affirmative Action, was one of many that lead me away from the Democrat Party and to the Libertarian Party. As a Democrat, I was just “white” and “male.” I didn’t get to define these, they were chosen for me by the dominant group. Even though I didn’t identify myself by my pigment or sex, they did. They put me in a box from which there is no escape. No matter my problems with speech and preference for the written over the verbal. No matter my social ineptitude or social anxiety. No matter my problems with facial recognition. No matter my problems with crowds, bright lights, loud sounds, and other sensory issues. No matter my problems eating just about anything. It doesn’t matter because I’m a “white man.”

Thankfully, the Libertarian Party does not engage in identity politics. With the LP, you are free to be the best YOU that YOU can be. You are free to be whatever kind of you that you want to be. If you want to change, great, go for it. What ever makes you Alive, Free, Happy. It’s quite refreshing to be part of a group where you can just be who you are.

So take it from someone with sensory processing issues, things aren’t always what they seem. Affirmative Action seems like it good thing. Sadly, like many of the good intentions of the Democrats/Republicans, they’re a trap; a box from which there is little chance of escape.

Join me outside of the box. Join the Libertarian Party and the movement of free and happy individuals trying to secure the rights of the smallest minority – the individual.

“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights, cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.” – Ayn Rand

Truth vs. Fact

I often get asked about my role as a scientist in light of my primary employer. “Have you ever worked for the defense?” How does it feel working for law enforcement?” These are just a few of the questions that I’ve faced in trial.

As a scientist, I really don’t have a dog in the fight. My answer to that line of questioning usually goes like this, “Regardless of who’s signature is on my pay cheque, I work for the Trier of Fact – assisting the judge and jury in correctly interpreting these complex pieces of evidence. The results of my tests are grounded in science. They are reliable and repeatable. My tools and techniques are based on generally accepted, peer reviewed image science. The academic references for the algorithms used, for each of the steps performed, are noted in my report.”

That being said, I have assisted the court in uncovering fraudulent evidence presented as impeachment evidence in People v. Abdullah (BA353334). It could be said, in that case, that I was working in the defense of the accused. But again, I was there to assist the Trier of Fact in correctly interpreting the evidence. In that case, the correct interpretation was that it was a forgery. In Hor v. City of Seattle, I assisted the Trier of Fact in correctly answering the question about if/when a particular sound is heard in a recording (10-2-34403-9SEA) – seemingly in the defense of the City of Seattle – but more correctly in defense of the facts of the matter.

Trier of Fact n. the judge or jury responsible for deciding factual issues in a trial. If there is no jury the judge is the trier of fact as well as the trier of the law. In administrative hearings, an administrative law judge, a board, commission, or referee may be the trier of fact.

Taken a step further, there are certain trade groups that are geared towards law enforcement that will expel a member who is perceived or accused of having worked “for the defense.” The perception is that law enforcement are the “good guys” and the criminal defendants are the “bad guys.” Yet, to an image scientist, a 1 or a 0 is neither good nor bad. They’re just numbers. I’ve worked a few cases where the government’s “experts” got everything completely wrong, their work product was not repeatable nor grounded in science, and thus their conclusion was complete rubbish (scientifically speaking). In these cases, who’s the “good guy” and who’s the “bad guy?”

[As a side note, in the famous treason trial of Aaron Burr, he was defended by Edmund Randolph and Luther Martin, both delegates to the Constitutional Convention and among the most prominent men of the day. The Burr trial is one of the more famous examples of how politics and ego can enter into court proceedings.]

But back to the point, if you’re one of those scientists that think in terms of “good guys” and “bad guys,” are you not biased towards a presupposed outcome – good will overcome evil and the bad guys will be punished? Is this form of presuppositional bias a good thing or a bad thing for scientists who serve the court system? I am certainly not one of those types of scientists. I work the case and the facts are the facts, regardless of who is signing my paycheck.

In the end, A either equals A or it doesn’t.

It’s with this in mind that I received and began to read Ferguson, MO: What Really Happened: A Systematic Scientific Analysis by Bruce E. Krell, PhD.

Truth vs. Fact

If we are to rely upon the media and various special interest groups to inform the Trier of Fact in Ferguson, MO, as to the “truths” of the case, the shooting incident will look a certain way depending on which “truths” are presented. White vs. Black. Powerful vs. powerless. State vs. the people. Bully vs. bullied. Etc. But true experts are relied upon to present facts. In this case, Dr. Krell uses his many years of experience in reconstructing shooting incidents to examine the facts and come to a conclusion. His science is presented without distractions and superfluities. In a very methodical way, Dr. Krell takes the reader through the crime scene to examine what actually happened – what the evidence at the scene says happened.

It’s a thoroughly refreshing point of view – science (facts), as opposed to the many political angles that have been previously presented (truths). It may be uncomfortable to read, but facts are facts. Dr. Krell is working neither for the state or the people, neither for the prosecution or the defense. He’s working for the Trier of Fact, applying the science of shooting incident reconstruction to the evidence in the case.

Three cheers for Dr. Krell, though I doubt the biased media outlets will pick up on this book. Unfortunately, the facts of the matter don’t fit their narrative.

Education is already free, Bernie.

In a recent debate between rivals for the Democrat party’s nomination for the upcoming Presidential election, Sen. Bernie Sanders made several references as to why/how college education should be free in the US. Not to be outdone, our former Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton, seemed to allude that not only should a college education be free to citizens, but to undocumented migrants as well.

Lost in the weeds of the discussion is the question – do folks want a free “education” or a free “undergraduate degree?” It may seem like a distinction without a difference, but the difference is, as Donald Trump might say, huuuugggge.

First and foremost, education is simply the act or process of being educated. Education is, and has always been, free. Yes, that’s right. It’s a simple process. You identify something that you want to know more about. You find out more about that something. You’re now educated on that something. Simple enough, yes.

As an example, I want to build a strong and durable fence around 3/4 of my property. I don’t want to spend a ton of money, I want to source materials locally, and I want to do it as a project that involves my children’s schooling. My oldest daughter and I set about to educate ourselves as to historical wall/fence building techniques in our rural area, then broadened the search to include techniques from cultures who’ve existed in areas with similar geography and climate. We ended up finding that the beginning of the China’s Great Wall in the Gobi had the right design features and materials to match what we wanted to do. We’ve got plenty of dirt and our local lake has a problem with cat tails / bull rush that need constant clearing (free materials). The info we found even suggested building methods that could easily be adapted to our modern situation. So it is, my daughter and I are now “educated” as to an appropriate building method to construct a wall around our property (I seriously doubt that the original builders of the wall in the Gobi were required to have a degree a degree in structural engineering and certification as a civil engineer).

In another example, I recently completed an on-line class on Human Vision and Perception (continuing education for my profession) at Duke University for free, part of the Coursera project’s offerings. With Coursera, you can take classes from some of the “best” colleges and universities in the world for free.

Pick your topic, and the internet can supply you with a ton of information so that you can educate yourself.

But folks really don’t want an “education.” They want a free “degree.” Amazingly enough, those opportunities exist as well. Check out the University of the People’s web site to find out how to earn a degree in Business Administration or Computer Science on-line for “free.” But even the UOP program isn’t entirely free, there’s still a sign-up fee and fees to take exams. But, it’s pretty cheap.

Ok. We’ve found a “free” degree for folks. That should be it, right? Not even close.

The first objection will be to the on-line format. Then, it will be to the status of their accreditation. Then, the complaints will be towards the ability to leverage the degree earned from UOP in gaining employment (after all, the lawyers on Suits all come from Harvard). All of which are BS. For many young people, the college experience as such is just a 6 year extension of their childhood and a delay of accepting full responsibility for their lives. How many go to college to “find themselves?” I did. Should tax payers have to fund this “fact finding mission?” No.

The way we should handle “education,” if the Libertarians were involved in the discussion, is to focus on the market. Moral capitalism seeks to fill a need. I see that folks need X to make their lives more livable, safe, fun, etc. I provide X at a reasonable price. I make money to support my efforts and folks have their lives enriched. The market reacts to what I’m doing, spurring further innovation. Education, and “finding yourself,” should be centered around finding those things that each of us can do to better our situation and the situation of those around us. We should be raising generation after generation of entrepreneurs, inventors, builders, artists, … We should not be paying for an “education” in General Studies so that the graduate can be a well rounded delivery driver for the local pizza franchise.

Thus, as no one is calling BS on the media or the Democrats, I will. Education is already free. A university degree can also be earned at little/no cost to the student.

So what do they really want?